What is CranioSacral Therapy?
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a light-touch, non-invasive, hands-on technique that detects and corrects imbalances in the craniosacral system, which may be the cause of sensory, motor or mental dysfunction. CST is a full body treatment that affects the central nervous system (CNS) by releasing tension in the body caused by stress, pain, and dysfunction.
When those tensions are released, the body’s own natural healing abilities are enhanced, and in turn, the body can relax and self-correct. CST is a tissue-based therapy that stimulates muscles, tendons, ligaments, bone, connective tissue (fascia) and the circulatory system, nervous system and lymph system. Adults, children, and animals can all benefit from CST.
Reasons your horse may need CST:
Changes in weight
Changes in eating habits
Difficulty chewing and/or swallowing
Pain or trauma
Bucking and/or rearing
Muscular & skeletal tightness/imbalances
Soft tissue injuries/restrictions
Injuries or traumas to the head
Since she was a child, Brianna has always had a connection with animals, especially horses. They became her comfort and strength through the many trials she faced in her youth. When she started taking riding lessons at the age of nine, she knew that her path in life was destined to involve horses. She began cleaning stalls and caring for horses at the age of thirteen, strengthening her connection to these animals that provided her with peace, strength, and stability. She knew that she wanted to give back to them somehow.
After high school, Brianna went to Kentucky Horseshoeing School where she completed a sixteen week course. Brianna’s five year career and apprenticeships as a farrier immensely increased her knowledge of equine anatomy and physiology, but was lacking in the emotional connection with horses that she desired. Feeling a little lost, Brianna decided to go to nursing school, searching for the perfect career that would fuel her desire to help others. Halfway through nursing school, Brianna realized that nursing was not her calling, so she changed her career path and began attending the Louisville School of Massage. She was simultaneously taking courses on human and equine craniosacral therapy through the Upledger Institute. After receiving her massage license and hands-on degree, Brianna began apprenticing under her mother, who had been practicing craniosacral therapy for more than twenty years.
Throughout her life, Brianna has watched her mother help thousands of people through craniosacral therapy, and she knew that she wanted to offer that to horses. For Brianna, it always came back to the horses. Finding a gratifying career in the equine world can be challenging, but Brianna feels fortunate to have found a career helping the animals that helped her. Horses were her saving grace through a tumultuous childhood, and now she is able to offer them the love and understanding that they offered her. Brianna’s lifelong experience with horses and her vast knowledge of their physical and mental processes is very apparent in her work. While horses are her passion, Brianna also enjoys working on dogs, cattle, and humans. Whether you or your animal is healing from physical or emotional trauma, Brianna would love to be a part of your healing process!
Licenses & Qualifications
Kentucky Horseshoeing School
Licensed Massage Therapist, Louisville School of Massage (License #MT21605797)
Neural Manipulation: Neuromeningeal Manipulation; An Integrative Approach to Trauma, The Barral Institute
Equine Myofascial Release Seminar 1, Mark Barnes
Upledger Institute Courses:
Craniosacral Therapy 1 - CS1
Craniosacral Therapy 2 - CS2
Craniosacral Therapy: SomatoEmotional Release 1
Craniosacral Therapy: SomatoEmotional Release 2
Craniosacral Therapy: Ecosomatics Equine 1
Craniosacral Therapy: Ecosomatics Equine 2
Craniosacral Therapy: Ecosomatics Equine 3
Craniosacral Therapy: Ecosomatics Equine 4
Frequently Asked Questions
What is involved in a CranioSacral Treatment?
Treatments typically take 1 to 1.5 hours, during which a thorough assessment of the horse is completed, along with the treatment itself. It is best to turn the horse out after the treatment is finished, and a minimum of 24 hours of downtime is suggested post-treatment.
Why would I want CST for my horse?
Horses are subject to many daily occurrences that may build up stress, tension, and pain that CST can release. Everyday activities like normal riding, an ill-fitting saddle or a change in temperature can all have negative effects on the body. CST can correct these issues by releasing tension in the equine athlete’s body to improve mobility and performance.
How many CST Treatments are needed to correct the issue(s)?
It is possible to see improvement after a single treatment! However, the number of treatments will vary depending on the horse and the issue(s), which tend to build up over time. Scheduling several weekly or monthly treatments prove to be most beneficial and often show greater improvement than a single treatment.
How often should the horse have a CST Treatment?
This will also vary depending on the horse. After the initial treatment(s), setting up a maintenance schedule is recommended. Similar to keeping your motor vehicle tuned up, having regular CST can improve the overall function and quality in your horses’ daily behavior. Keep in mind that a treatment schedule should take into account the horses’ activities. A daily workhorse will be under more strain than a light duty horse and should be seen more frequently.
Will my horse benefit even if there’s nothing wrong?
Indeed, it will. Daily use of bridles, bits, tack, and more will create normal strain and pressure on points of the horses’ body and skull, and regularly scheduled CST will help to keep the balance and maintain overall equine health.
My horse is injured, will CST help?
While CST does not replace traditional veterinary medicine, it can help rebalance the body, speeding up recovery time. If your horse has been physically injured, please seek veterinary care before seeking CST.
"I met Brianna when a friend recommended her for treatment of one of my dogs, who had neurological damage. It wasn’t long before I saw the positive effects on my dog, and decided to try it myself. I have been receiving treatments from her for over 4 years now, and her ability to read my body’s messages has been transformative for me. Brianna has helped me on my healing journey in so many ways. She is an intuitive healer with very powerful hands. If someone asked me “have you ever had an out of body experience?” I would likely reply “HA! Are you kidding? I’ve hardly ever been IN my body!” Brianna has helped me return to myself and awaken to the messages being given to me through my body. She has a wealth of knowledge and wisdom about healing the body and spirit, and occasionally has offered suggestions to help me deepen my awareness of the connection between the two. Sometimes the suggestion might be an exercise, or exploring a food sensitivity that might be causing an issue, or even referring me to a different sort of practitioner (I met my holistic MD via Brianna). Whatever the issue, she is easy to connect with and meets me where I am, without judgment. I appreciate that she continues to hone her skills by taking classes to learn new techniques and stay on the cutting edge of craniosacral therapy. I feel so fortunate and grateful to know her; I think I must have been a real mess for the universe to send to me such a powerful and skilled healer!"
“Brianna has helped all my horses but especially my upper level/ FEI eventer. She helps keep him working happily at his fullest potential. My horses love Brianna and react well to her releases and technique. I can tell a difference after she has worked on them for the better. “